Kinesiology and Health Education Doctoral Student Matt Bowers

Matt BowersHaving spent the past two semesters working with three undergraduate interns through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program, I can assert without reservation that the IE experience represents what a world class university education should be: personal attention between students and mentors, the freedom to pursue intellectual interests in a relatively autonomous environment, and the promotion of a culture that values the process of learning as much as the outcome. It is virtually impossible to walk away from the IE experience without at least a glimmer of hope for what the future may hold at institutions of higher learning such as the University of Texas at Austin. In fact, I can safely speak on behalf of both myself and my interns in saying that the IE program has renewed our collective faith in the possibility that a college education at a major public university includes more than being a small fish in an increasingly bigger and bigger pond.

IE stands for "intellectual entrepreneurship," but for some it also means a first chance for true "individual exploration" of their vocational passion, or an "interpersonal evolution" in how they create and explore knowledge through collaboration. In any case, the program helps to instill the joy of learning that somehow gets lost along the way for so many students. IE interns have an advantage over many of their non-IE classmates in that they get to be reminded that education is not something that ends after your senior year, but is a lifelong pursuit capable of enriching the character of our experiences whether we are in school or not. I would not only recommend the program to those students hoping to transition into graduate school, but to any students who feel that they may be drifting away from what interests or inspires them. IE is an opportunity to discover - or rediscover - the meaning of education.